OCEAN TOWNSHIP (Monmouth) — A server at a restaurant in the Oakhurst section of the township is the latest to be on the receiving end of what's been dubbed "Shock and Claus" this holiday season.

Sunday morning, a group of women ate breakfast at The Blue Swan Diner on Route 35, bid their server, Joy Carter, a "Merry Christmas" and handed her an envelope, according to diner co-owner, Mario Magriplis.

It wasn't until a bit later that Carter looked inside and saw $800 cash tucked into the envelope, along with some cash left on the table, Magriplis said. Carter rushed out to try and catch the women to thank them but they were gone, he added.

Magriplis said Carter is a loving person who always tries to work extra shifts around the holidays to pay for gifts and bills. He said the generous tip "really took a lot of stress and pressure off of her" this year, to be able to enjoy her holiday.

Magriplis, who owns the diner alongside his brother in law, Frank Lambrinos, said they did recognize at least one frequent diner and a few familiar faces in the crowd, but they have no contact information for them.

He said they just want to extend a proper thank you to the generous patrons, as they have inspired and motivated the staff with a "newfound appreciation" this holiday season.

Also this December, a group of friends pooled their cash to present a server at iHOP in Paterson with a $1,200 tip, while an anonymous diner left a $500 tip on a $30 check at Marlboro Diner.

Magriplis called the message important — "People need to make real life connections" and help effect change through acts of kindness, he said.


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